Let’s see how long do bagels last and then let’s find out how to keep bagels fresh. Bagels are delicious treats of bread baked in the form of a ring. However, there are some important differences between the two.
The main difference is that the dough is first boiled before being baked. It’s what gives bagels the shiny crust and the chewy texture. Boiling the dough first sets the crust before the dough is baked, it’s an important part of the process.
Another difference is that we can improve the whole experience of eating them by stuffing them with all kinds of toppings: cheese, butter, fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats. They are so versatile that we can even make pizza bagels.
I’ve already talked about ways to keep bread fresh for longer. But that’s another discussion. This time, we’re only going to focus on learning exactly how long do bagels last and then how we can keep them fresh for longer periods of time.
How Long Do Bagels Last? 3 Methods to Keep them Fresh
The exact answer to the question how long do bagels last actually depends on how we store them. In order to know how to keep bagels fresh for longer, we must talk about the different storing methods that we can take advantage of.
If we store them in paper/linen bags on the counter, they can last for 2-3 days before going stale. On the other hand, if we place them in a breadbox, then the time can be extended by another couple of days.
In the fridge, we can keep bagels fresh for about a week, while the freezer offers us the possibility of storing them for months.
I must say that if you already have experience with keeping your loaves of bread or buns fresh, then you already know everything you need to know.
1. Store Them in Paper Bags
If we just use simple paper bags and store the bagels on the countertop inside the bags, then the bagels will last for about 2-3 days.
If you’re into reusable products, I recommend using linen bread bags. They’re very good at keeping them fresh for 2-3 days.
Moreover, you can further keep the paper/linen bags in a bread box.
Bread keepers will also help keep bagels fresh for longer, as long as 5 days. More importantly, they can prevent mold because the air circulates insides the box, while keeping the spores from landing on our baked goods.
2. How Long Do They Last in the Fridge?
This is a very popular method for making bagels stay fresh for longer.
It will keep them from going stale or getting too dry. It’s a highly recommended method for storing bagels and keeping them fresh for a longer time.
In the fridge, the bagels will last for about a week. You can then heat them up for a few seconds in the microwave or toast them.
Just store them in paper bags or reusable bread bags on the lower level in the fridge.
However, be mindful of the fact that garlic bread is one of the few baked goods that shouldn’t be stored in the fridge because it will dry out.
3. Freeze Them
Freezing bagels is the easiest method to keep them fresh for long periods of time. It’s also very easy and it will ensure that your bagels won’t go stale or bad in 3 to 5 days.
You can actually keep them in the freezer for many months, for as long as 6 months up to a year. I’m pretty sure that they’ll be eaten well before that.
If you’re into the habit of buying a lot at a time, then you can ensure that you can eat them whenever you want if you just freeze them.
You can slice them in half before freezing them if you want to make the thawing much simpler.
Tightly wrap your bagels in plastic wrap and then wrap them in aluminum foil or freezer paper.
You could also place them in zip-top freezers bags. Press all the air out and then seal the bag tightly.
If you want a solution that’s also good for the environment, then you can freeze the bagels in beeswax wraps. They’re reusable for up to a year. After that, you can turn them into compost. Beeswax wraps are compostable and biodegradable.
How to defrost bagels
Popping it in the microwave oven is the easiest solution. In about 20-30 seconds it should be defrosted and ready to be toasted or whatever you want to do with it. It’s especially fast if you froze them sliced.
You can keep the bagel under cool running water for 30 seconds and after that bake it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. This works well if you froze them whole.
If you want them the next day, you can let them defrost on the countertop overnight at room temperature.
New York Bagels lets us know how we can enjoy a fresh bagel after freezing: thaw them on the counter for about 30 minutes, preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them for 4 minutes.
According to them, this method will provide the crispy outside and a soft chewy inside. I say we listen to the experts and follow this method.
If you don’t have time, just defrost them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, although they warn us that microwaving can destroy the texture and consistency.
How do you tell if a bagel has gone bad?
Obviously, the easiest way to tell that a bagel has gone bad is if it has mold. Moldy bagels are not something you want in your house, those go in the trash.
Otherwise, you can tell that a bagel has gone bad if it has an off smell or an unusual appearance.
They can get stale in about a day or two if they’re left exposed to the air, without any cover.
When they’re left exposed to the air for a day or two, the dough goes through two processes: dehydrating and staling.
If they’re just a bit hard but not completely dry, you can try to make them tasty again by toasting them. It always works with slices of bread that are on the hard side but not completely dry.
How to toast bagels
I won’t go into the debate of eating them fresh vs toasting them. Enjoy them however you like. I will just touch upon toasting as a method to revive them.
There are a couple of methods to toast bagels when we want to revive them. You can toast them whole or sliced in half.
Toast them sliced in your toaster, which is the easiest and fastest method.
Toast them whole in a preheated toaster oven or regular oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes.
If your bagel is very dry and stale, then dip it in hot water and then toast it whole.
And that’s about it when it comes to this article on how long do bagels last and how to keep bagels fresh for longer, including a few tips on defrosting and toasting.